Advance Healthcare Directive
An advance healthcare directive (also commonly referred to as a "living will") is when an individual specifies what actions should be taken in case they are unable to make, due to illness or incapacity, medical decisions for themselves.
This is considered a binding legal document and is most commonly used to indicate a "do not resuscitate" (DNR) order in which the patient specifies that no "heroic" or extreme methods be utilized to preserve their life in the case of life-threatening illness or injury. Methods typically include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS).
For example, a person may wish to not be on longterm life support if there is no brain function and can dictate this in their living will. If they are unable to make this decision themselves then hospital workers and family members are legally required to carry out the person's wish in this regard.